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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

388

P&BGAXA

31 any of ih smaller thoroughfares here, as in other parts of the district,
are rapidly being obliterated, and unless speedy measures are taken for theii
preservation, very great inconvenience mms-t eventually result. The occupants
of the fields through which they pass encroach upon them year hy year3 till at
last, in the less frequented tracts, nothing is left but a mere ridge scarcely broad
enough for a foot-path. When the traffic is too considerable to allow of this
complete appropriation, the lane is narrowed til! it barely admits the passage of
a single cart; a high bank is then raised on either side with earth always
excavated from the roadway, which, thus, is sunk several feet below the level
of the country and in the rains becomes a deep -water-course. In the dry sea-
son of the year it is rendered equally impassable by huge aqueducts carried
across it at short intervals in order to convey water for irrigation purposes from
a well on one side to lands forming part of the same farm that happen to lie
on the other. A small sum is annually allotted for the maintenance of a cer-
tain number of village roads, and as I have practically demonstrated, this'money
might be much more advantageously expended than has hitherto been the
custom, if it were used for the systematic prevention of encroachments and the
" construction of occasional syphon drains and culverts.
As a mile, the bhaiyacliari villages have a ranch more prosperous appearance
than those which have passed into the hands of some one wealthy proprietor.
IE the former case every shareholder plants the borders and waste corners of
Ms fields with quick growing trees, such as the fards, or tamarisk, which he
fells from time to time as lie wants timber for his well or agricultural implements
or for rooting his house,, but immediately supplies their places by new cuttings.
Thus the village lands from a little distance often look picturesque and well-
vrooded, tlieugh. possibly there may not be a single grove or orchard on them.
In i iu:mncuu:i estate, on the other hand, the absentee landlord is represented on
the spnt only by aa agent, whose sole duty it is to secure as large a yearly
retcra as possible for his employer.   Every manorial right is strictly enforced,
and rrKs -ire feliP'l and sold in large quantities, and never replaced, either by the
ieaun*. wno i? not allowed to cut a single stick, however urgent his requirements.
a(J *livre*ortf Las no object in planting, or by the landlord, who cares nothing
for the -.vc'L-leifcg of ike village, which can be sold as soon as its productiveness
is esHaneo.    It would be difficult, perhaps impossible, to mention a single
instance in the -whole district of one of the new landlords doing anything what-
ever for the permanent improvement of his estate.    It never even occurs to
them that their tenants have the slightest claim upon their consideration.    Hav-
ing proiabiy amassed their fortune by usury, they are willing to make advances